Graeme High School pupils set for prestige cooking challenge

Teacher Amy Walls.
Teacher Amy Walls.

Around 15 home economics students at Falkirk’s Graeme High School aim to prove they’re the top chefs in Forth Valley - and then Scotland - in a brand new cookery challenge.

They’ll be gaining inspiration from high profile professional chef Mark Heirs, a Graeme High School former pupil, but will use their own initiative to choose their ingredients and concoct a menu that will thrill the judging panel.

Teacher Chloe Hamilton.

Teacher Chloe Hamilton.

The school’s entry in the Springboard Future Chef contest was arranged by teachers (pictured) Amy Walls and Chloe Hamilton, who say there’s huge enthusiasm among the 12 to 16 year olds involved.

“This is a completely new thing for the school, but while it hasn’t been tried before we are sure the kids are going to give it everything they’ve got”, said Amy.

“The Forth Valley heat will see some contestants going on to the Scottish contest, and next year there’s the grand final in London.

“The contest opens next Thursday, and we’re all looking forward to it”.

Chef Mark Heirs - an inspirational former pupil at Graeme High.

Chef Mark Heirs - an inspirational former pupil at Graeme High.

Meanwhile Amy says the olden-days stereotype that home economics was exclusively for females has been well and truly laid to rest - ten of the 15 Graeme High School students involved are boys.

Beyond the excitement of a prestigious national competition the contest will also highlight the possibilities of a future career in the hospitality sector, where skilled Scottish staff are increasingly at a premium.

Mark Heirs is an obvious example of what can be achieved, and the practical experience - always more fun than theory - will maybe help to inspire some local master chef of the future.